Google+ 01/18/13 Wake Up!

Revelation 3:2-4

 

Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead.

I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.

Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again.

If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil.

They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 

 

I am hoping that all of us will heed the warning and look for the encouragement in our Scripture today.  Jesus is speaking directly to the Church at Sardis through the apostle John.  As I am sure all of us know, the book of Revelation speaks to every church and church age about their "State of the Union."  The major difference here, is that Jesus is doing the speaking!  Of the seven churches, Jesus finds major fault with six.  This fact, in itself, is not a good omen for all of us that claim Christianity.  Sardis was one of the seven cities within the Roman province of Asia, in the western part of Asia Minor, which is now Turkey.  It was literally at the crossroads leading to the coastal cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum.  It was renowned for its gold and wealth.  I never want Jesus to have to tell me what he told the church at Sardis.  John records that Jesus tells this church to "Wake up!"  Jesus identifies that what little that is good of the church is very close to death. Our churches need to hear this message when doctrine, pageantry, ritual, sacraments, and meetings take the place of Jesus.  Jesus never spoke about church council meetings, vestry meetings or deacon fellowships/boards.  Jesus spoke about God in parables and taught people the necessity of spreading God's word.  As our Scripture says today, we all need to go back to what we first heard.  The most important thing a church can do is tell "their world" about Jesus and in the New Testament, that means everyone within the sound of our voices.  The "executive order" today in our "State of the Union" address is "Repent and turn to me again."  Notice that small "benefit of the doubt" word Jesus uses.  He says to to me "again!"  There is an assumption that at some point, we have put Him first.  Jesus is speaking to a church!  We all should have been focused on Him at some point as our first love.  Now, don't miss this next point. What happens if we don't "Wake Up?"  Jesus will come to us, suddenly, like a thief.  Yes, Jesus will take what you have left suddenly and without warning.  To all of you that are reading this and thinking there is no hope, you would be wrong.   Look at the last two lines.  Jesus says that there are some in the church who have never "soiled their clothes with evil."  Praise God!  Those folks are going to walk with Him in white and are worthy.  In the words of the robot of Lost in Space, "Danger Will Robinson, Danger."  Jesus is flailing His arms in front of you.  Those of us that have resisted evil, we know where we are going.  Those that have left their first love, Jesus Christ, and are more worried about how many meetings and committees the church can have, heed Jesus' words now, before it is too late and the thief comes in the night.  Wake Up!